Community engagement procedures a difference in the lives our surrounding communities is still high on the agenda for the NWU. That said, there are things to consider before initiating a community engagement project.

Types of community engagement

Engaged research

Engaged Research is defined as a collaborative process between the researcher and community partners that creates and disseminates knowledge and innovation with the goal of contributing to one or more discipline and strengthening the quality of life and well-being of the community.

Engaged Teaching and Learning

Engaged Teaching and Learning relates to teaching and learning CE activities, all of which are mostly for learning experiences.  It can comprise subsidised  development engagement involving work-integrated learning and service-learning. The Policy on Work-Integrated Learning and Service-Learning (NWU, June 2016:1) defines Service-Learning as: Curriculum-based, credit-bearing and carefully structured educational experiences in which students participate in an organised community interaction activity that meets identified and agreed upon community goals. It includes reflecting on the service activity in order to gain a deeper understanding of module content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of social responsibility towards society as a whole. Service-learning is aimed at enhancing the civic responsibility of students within the context of the curriculum.


Outreach are additional services by staff and students to assist communities in need, especially, the local communities in which the NWU’s campuses are based. This includes voluntary-based responsiveness, ‘enablement /empowerment /development/non-discipline-based outreach’ activities such as services that are short-term, repetitive and often philanthropic in nature and that are not always regulated by the University.

Community engagement procedures

It is very important to follow certain standard operating procedures to make sure your community engagement project has lasting impact. Projects must be registered, monitored and evaluated:

Community organisations that want to partner with NWU on community engagement projects and activities register here to be added into NW- CE database.

SOPs and supporting documents for staff and students

Log in to eFundi to view support materials for staff and students that want to do community engagement.

Contact details for assistance and more information

Please direct any enquiries to Bibi Bouwman